In a number of ways, Ashley Loughmiller embodies what CAP is about: People turning their lives around for good.
When her mother died while she was still in junior high school, Ashley went through a difficult time. By high school, she was having problems. “I was always a smart kid, but I started making some bad choices with the wrong crowd.” She developed a drug problem and eventually dropped out of school. Her life was going nowhere.
Then, on her 22nd birthday, Ashley learned that she was pregnant. That was the turning point when she decided that she needed to change her life. She told her boyfriend Chris, “I’m pregnant and I think it’s time we grew up.”
That same day, she and Chris “went cold turkey,” and both stopped using drugs. “It wasn’t just about me now. I was making decisions for another life,” she said. Ashley started a treatment program, enrolled at LCC to earn her GED, and entered CAP’s Community Jobs program.
She had had very little work experience before coming to CAP—a stint at McDonald’s, cleaning houses with her grandmother. She was placed at CAPtured Treasures, our boutique clothing store and retail jobs training center to develop skills and get experience.
None of this was easy, but Ashley can now look back from the way she has come: “I’ve been clean for three years and two months,” she has a healthy 2-1/2 year old son, Isiah, and Chris is now her husband.
Oh, yes—as of October 2011, Ashley was promoted to become store supervisor.
She credits a lot of her success to the support she received from her husband, from her grandmother (“She’s always been there for me”), and from her Parent Child Advocate counselor in a program that works with mothers who have past addiction problems, helping them set short and long term goals, and supports them in achieving those goals.
Ashley’s story is one of courage, will and willpower. Most of us struggle to even lose 10 pounds. Imagine what it takes to turn your life around!
[CAPtured Treasures is located at 1262 Commerce Avenue in Longview. Store hours are M-F 10 am to 5:30 pm, and Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm. Phone: 360-353-3732.]